Matt Jones: TV Screenwriting – Professional Perspectives

Central Film School was delighted to welcome television screenwriter and producer Matt Jones last week to come and speak to our students about how they can pitch for television, what they need to consider when fleshing out a long-form series idea, and what to avoid in their scriptwriting to make sure their work gets read.

Matt has written for a number of different drama and comedy series over the years, including Doctor Who, The Split and Rogue, and has also produced hit British shows such as Skins and Shameless. His unique experience as both a script writer and reader enabled him to go into great length about how to engage with the audience, create compelling drama quickly and structuring the obstacles the protagonists must overcome; the personal, the internal and the societal.

Matt shared insights into the pitching process, using samples from his own in-the-works series Red Rainbow, which is inspired by real events about gay activists living in homophobic Moscow during the 1970s. Matt also listened to students’ pitches and ideas from the audience, helping them guide their stories and expand the ideas that were already there, before leading them in a screenwriting exercise, challenging them to construct a pivotal scene from the end of their narrative that used as little exposition as possible. Some brave students even volunteered to perform their pieces, which were all met with rapturous applause.

CFS is incredibly grateful to Matt for giving his time to come and speak to our students, and we look forward to hopefully seeing him again in the future for more lessons on the world of television screenwriting.

Some of Matt’s previous work includes:

  • Doctor Who
  • The Split 
  • Rogue
  • Skins
  • Shameless